Henry Simpson’s work book 1711

HENRY SIMPSON (1694-1741)

The Simpson family were early members of the Society of Friends in Whitby and, on 7th of September 1703, the Friends recorded in their monthly meeting minutes ‘Our friend Francis Salkeld began to keep school at Whitby ye 22nd of last month … ‘

Members of the society sent their children, both girls and boys, to be educated at this school and it is said to have been the only school of its kind in Whitby until Lionel Charlton opened one 45 years later. Henry was a very clever scholar and was educated by Francis Salkeld.

Like so many in Whitby at his time Henry decided to pursue a career at sea. This beautifully illustrated apprentice book shows the high standard of presentation, and the meticulous calculations, expected of any young man who wished to be a successful master mariner.

Henry was the father of Wakefield Simpson a draper and grocer who, in 1785, founded the Simpson, Chapman and Simpson Bank in Grape Lane, Whitby. Henry Simpson was only 47 years old when he died, and he was buried on the 9th of October 1741 in the Friends burial ground in Whitby.

The work book was produced when Henry was an apprentice at navigational school. A donation from Syd Barnett’s family made the conservation of this item possible.